The in vivo fate of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, antioxidant phenolic constituents of olive oil, after intravenous and oral dosing of labeled compounds to rats

K. L. Tuck, M. P. Freeman, P. J. Hayball, G. L. Stretch, I. Stupans

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In vitro studies have shown phenolics in olive oil to be strong radical scavengers. The absorption and elimination of two radiolabeled phenolic constituents of olive oil, hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol were studied in vivo using rats. Compounds were administered intravenously (in saline) and orally (in oil-and water-based solutions). For both compounds, the intravenously and orally administered oil-based dosings resulted in significantly greater elimination of the phenolics in urine within 24 h than the oral, aqueous dosing method. There was no significant difference in the amount of phenolic compounds eliminated in urine between the intravenous dosing method and the oral oil-based dosing method for either tyrosol or hydroxytyrosol. Oral bioavailability estimates of hydroxytyrosol when administered in an olive oil solution and when dosed as an aqueous solution were 99% and 75%, respectively. Oral bioavailability estimates of tyrosol, when orally administered in an olive oil solution and when dosed as an aqueous solution were 98% and 71%, respectively. This is the first study that has used a radiolabeled compound to study the in vivo biological fates of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1993-1996
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Bioavailability
  • Elimination
  • Oliveoil
  • Phenols
  • Rats

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